Hayward Gallery Touring’s landmark exhibition British Art Show 9 (BAS9) will continue its national tour, opening in Manchester on Friday 27 May, following its successful iterations in Aberdeen (10 July – 10 October 2021) and Wolverhampton (22 January – 10 April 2022). British Art Show is recognised as the most ambitious recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in the UK, taking place every five years and bringing the work of some of the most exciting contemporary artists to four UK cities.
Hayward Gallery Touring is delighted to unveil the list of artists presenting work across four venues in the city: Castlefield Gallery, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth from 27 May – 4 September 2022. This presentation will also mark the return of the British Art Show to Manchester which hosted British Art Show 6 in 2006, and British Art Show 4 in 1995. Following this leg of the national tour, the BAS9 exhibition will progress to its last presentation in Plymouth.
British Art Show 9 is curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar and focuses on work made since 2015. The exhibition reflects a precarious moment in Britain’s history, which has brought politics of identity and nation, concerns of social, racial and environmental justice, and questions of agency to the centre of public consciousness. The artists presented in the exhibition respond in critical ways to this complex context. Through their works, they imagine new futures, propose alternative economies, explore new modes of resistance and find ways of living together. They do so through film, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance, as well as through multimedia projects that don’t sit easily in any one category.
The exhibition is structured around three main themes – Healing, Care and Reparative History, Tactics for Togetherness, Imagining New Futures – and has been conceived as a cumulative experience, adapting and changing for each city, and presenting different combinations of artists and artworks that respond to their distinctive local contexts.
In Manchester, the exhibition will showcase 19 artists whose works directly address BAS9’s three main curatorial themes. Their projects aim to extend our understanding of identity to beyond the human, often blurring the boundaries between art and life. Through their works, they propose alternative futures, economies and ways of living together. The presentation will feature many ambitious immersive installations, five new works and two new commissions made specifically by artists in response to local histories and cultures in Manchester.
Selected highlights of BAS9 Manchester:
- The culmination of Simeon Barclay’s commission for British Art Show 9 is displayed at Manchester Art Gallery. Precariously Perched on the Edifice of Ruins (2021-2022), made possible by Art Fund support, consists of video, sound, sculpture and neon works which touch on sampling, de-industrialisation, cultural hierarchy, self fashioning, class and taste. The neon work reimagines one of Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculptures, The Age of Bronze (1877) which is displayed in the entrance hall of Manchester Art Gallery.
- An audio-visual installation, ZEMEL (2021), from experimental rapper, producer, writer, visual and performance artist GAIKA is also shown at Manchester Art Gallery. In the piece, GAIKA draws on his Caribbean heritage, sound system culture and it also serves as a shrine to his late uncle and other Windrush-generation deportees. Supported by Hayward Gallery Touring for BAS9.
- Anne Hardy’s spectacular large-scale installation Liquid Landscape (2018) is displayed at the Whitworth, the first time this work has been presented in the UK. It combines objects, lights, sounds and special effects into a sensory experience that uses the idea of a city almost underwater, and an interloping climate, as a way to consider fragility, resilience and shifting emotions.
- An installation by Joey Holder, shown at Castlefield Gallery, incorporates the extended reality video and 360-degree film The Abyssal Seeker (2021) which charts the journey to a deep-sea lake that has so far remained undiscovered by science.
- Caroline Walker presents at HOME her new emotive series of paintings portraying the work of female midwives and maternity nurses and the life-affirming events that take place at maternity wards around the country. Caroline will also present her ‘home’ series of portraits which feature women living in temporary accommodation in exile from their families, friends and the homes they left behind.
- Andy Holden’s The Estate of Hermione (2021) – An extensive exhibition of work by self-trained artist Hermione Burton (1925–c.1990) and new film displayed at the Whitworth. Burton’s paintings were found by Holden by chance in a flea market and since then, he has obsessively collected, researched, restored and exhibited them.
- Hetain Patel‘s ambitious new film Trinity (2021) at Manchester Art Gallery, developed with dance, martial arts and sign language collaborators, centres on the discovery of a martial language that once united humanity. Supported by Arts Council England, John Hansard Gallery, New Art Exchange, Sadler’s Wells, Gulbenkian, Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation, and Hayward Gallery Touring for BAS9. Produced by Tilt Films.
- Katie Schwab presents blueprint of an emotion (2022), a new commission for British Art Show 9 at the Whitworth, made possible by Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities. Schwab’s presentation takes its cue from public artworks by mid-century artists Hans Tisdall and Mitzi Cunliffe that feature on educational buildings in Manchester. The installation has evolved through research and community discussion on ideas of repair, alchemy and civic identity. It comprises a new wall painting and collaborative tile work, shown alongside a large-scale tapestry, maquette and weaving samples from the Whitworth’s rich textile collections.
- Patrick Goddard’s RAW (dancefloor edition) (2022), an experiential intervention, displayed at HOME, created using paving designed to deter rough sleepers. This work is shown alongside a post-apocalyptic themed installation of his new film commission Animal Antics (2021), an absurdist commentary on the Anthropocene featuring a woman and her talking dog. The film piece is co-commissioned with Hayward Gallery Touring for BAS9 by Film and Video Umbrella, FLAMIN London, and EWERK Freiburg.
- At Manchester Art Gallery, Than Hussein Clark will present a new set of objects related to the artist’s ongoing intervention of the text of the German Realist drama The Weavers by Gerhard Hauptman. Continuing the artists explorations of the intersections of theatrical and design history, these new sculptures queer the classic notions of both labour and resistance, asking how both might necessarily be reframed in the present. Clark will also exhibit two works from his 2019 exhibition A Little Night Music (And Reversals). Both works relate to the artist’s ongoing research into the life and work of the French writer Jean Genet, and the complicated intersections of queer liberation and anti-colonial struggle.
List of artists presented in Manchester:
|Hurvin AndersonMichael ArmitageSimeon BarclayOliver BeerThan Hussein ClarkOona DohertySean Edwards||GAIKAPatrick GoddardAnne HardyAndy HoldenJoey HolderElaine MitchenerGrace Ndiritu||Hardeep PandhalHetain PatelAbigail ReynoldsKatie SchwabCaroline Walker|
The exhibition includes a programme of artist films and a dedicated website which enables artists to share works online. A schedule of events, talks and activities for visitors of all ages, both in person and online, will extend the reach of British Art Show 9 throughout Greater Manchester and the North West.
Brian Cass, Senior Curator, Hayward Gallery Touring, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Castlefield Gallery; HOME; Manchester Art Gallery; and the Whitworth on British Art Show 9. This major exhibition has a long history with Manchester, and previous iterations have been of huge importance for the city and its many communities. British Art Show 9 features remarkable artists whose work help us expand our understanding of who we are and how we engage with the world. We’re committed to presenting this exhibition of the most inventive and relevant contemporary art being produced in the UK today to everyone who lives in, and visits Manchester and we hope the show will be an opportunity for expansive experiences and conversations between artists, artworks and people across the city. We acknowledge the withdrawal of several artists from the show, however, we’re confident that all our partners are absolutely committed to artistic and academic freedoms and ensuring freedoms of expression and speech.”
Alistair Hudson, Director of Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, said: “For the third time, Manchester welcomes the British Art Show to the city. The world has changed dramatically since this landmark survey exhibition last visited our city in 2006, and this iteration is particularly poignant given the difficulties the world is facing right now and the challenges of culture in dealing with them. In its making, the curators and artists of BAS9 have been especially conscious to question Britishness, concepts of art and even the very idea of a ‘show’. That we ask such testing questions here is fitting for a city that has, since its birth, embraced radicalism, difference and the complexities of modern life. All the four partner venues in our city have been united in our wish for the presentation of BAS9 to be part of our working out of the challenges we face, and what kind of culture we make for the people who live here. This is a city created by making and doing things together, and doing things differently. The British Art Show in Manchester will not be like any other and all the better for it.”
Hammad Nasar and Irene Aristizábal, Curators of British Art Show 9, said: “We are pleased to present the third iteration of BAS9 in Manchester. In their response to our complex times, the work of BAS9 artists showing in Manchester deploys art’s capacity to be multiple things at once – imagining more hopeful futures, employing historical inquiry as a form of repair and exploring new modes of resistance. Wesupport the different positions of resistance that have been articulated by BAS9 artists – the withdrawal of participation and the amplification of voices in solidarity with Palestine – and share the artists’ call for reparative action. We are committed to BAS9 being a platform for action and exchange, and for these, and other difficult but important conversations BAS artists are engaged with, to move beyond the realm of the visual arts into the wider public sphere in Manchester and beyond.”
British Art Show 9 is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition presented in collaboration with the cities of Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth. Curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar.
Four of the new works in the British Art Show 9 tour are made possible with the generous support of the Art Fund and these will be acquired by museum partners in each city for their own collections, as a marker of the lasting legacy of this ambitious touring show. BAS9 also benefits from the support of Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities which is allowing partners to produce ambitious and wide ranging programmes of creative learning, civic engagement and participation that will further extend the reach of BAS9 across the four partner cities.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Hayward Gallery Publishing, which includes two wide-ranging curatorial essays, over 200 colour illustrations and original texts on all 47 artists featured in the British Art Show 9 tour.